Pygmy rabbit rescue hops into public spotlight

The pygmy rabbit, whose size is not much bigger than a man’s hand, was thought to be nearing extinction in Washington’s Columbia basin in 2003. Since that time, wildlife officials have undertaken to save the furry critter and today some 20 of them are, so to speak, back in their native holes. The reason for the successful reintroduction can be pinned to the wise stewardship of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s captive breeding program, which captured a few of the bunnies before they all but perished. By crossbreeding them with Idaho pygmy rabbits, a close relative, the gene pool was strengthened, and now it is hoped the new hybrids will go forth and multiply, which they are remarkably adept at doing. Let’s hope this hare raising program keeps chasing down the right rabbit trail!

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.